cover image All the Ways to Be Smart

All the Ways to Be Smart

Davina Bell, illus. by Allison Colpoys. Scribble, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-947-53496-4

In this cheerful exploration of all the nonstandard ways a person can be smart, the creators paint an expansive picture of intelligence that goes well beyond “being best/ at spelling bees,/ a tricky test.” Notably, Bell’s definition includes different types of abilities—creative, emotional, and social—such as “kindness when there’s crying,” “saying hi and bye/ to people when they feel all shy,” and “feeling scared/ but taking chances.” Fanciful creatures, including a dragon, unicorn, and fairy, appear alongside children throughout—monsters join a tea party, animals take up games—emphasizing the rhythmic anything-is-possible message. Colpoys’s ink, charcoal, and pencil drawings burst with a profusion of neon orange and green, literally highlighting each scene with an incandescence that more than matches the rhyming couplets’ jauntiness. A feel-good paean to individuality. Ages 3–6. [em](Sept.) [/em]